A “Cooks In The Field” Exclusive: Sarah Creighton

Every month, we share new recipes from the three “Cooks In The Field” that won our recipe contest last Fall. We are all familiar with their cooking styles by now: Adam Rosen is a tailgating grill master, Joy Martin is an experimental urban foodie and Sarah Creighton is a healthy homemaker for her husband and three children. But how did they fall into these roles? What do we know about them? Well, since they bring new ideas to our kitchen tables each month, they are like family. So we interviewed each of them to give a little insight into their culinary-inspired lives. You can continue to enjoy her recipes on our website and facebook page, but here you can get to know Sarah Creighton:

sarah creighton

How does your passion for cooking relate to being a Healthy Homemaker?

“As a busy mom of three growing, veggie-lovin’ boys I have to be on my A-game when it comes to preparing healthy, delicious meals that also please my meat-loving husband. I love experimenting with new plant-based products by infusing new flavors yet keeping my recipes simple. It can be tricky to please everyone in my family but I’ve come up with some winners along the way! Knowing that what my family eats is full of nutrition brings me peace of mind.”

What inspired you to explore vegan cooking and start your own blog?

“When I decided to switch to a vegan lifestyle several years back I was creating so many new recipes. I wanted to keep track of those recipes to reflect back on what we ate, which is how Veggie-Kids was born. Since then it’s taken off as so many other families are eager to try their hands at a plant-based way of life.”

What was your biggest challenge with switching to a vegan diet?
“Finding good replacements for things like eggs in baking and cooking. Through lots of trial and error I think I’ve got it down now! The biggest thing that most people would think would be a challenge is getting your kids/spouse/friends to eat a vegan diet but that wasn’t the case for us. I found so many new foods and flavors that it made eating exciting!”

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with right now?

“Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds…any seeds for that matter! Seeds are loaded with important nutrients and can be easily disguised in many dishes. Ground flax seeds can also be used in baking to replace eggs-who knew?”

What is your “go-to” dish?

“Tacos. They’re a staple in my house as it’s such an easy dish to transform using different ingredients on hand. Sometimes I use beans, other times Field Roast’s Classic Meatloaf, broken up into bits.”

Sweet or savory?
“I’m a sweet girl all the way!”

Besides cooking, what do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
“Eating. And hanging out with my beautiful family or being outside in nature.”

A “Cooks In The Field” Exclusive: Joy Martin

Every month, we share new recipes from the three “Cooks In The Field” that won our recipe contest last Fall. We are all familiar with their cooking styles by now: Adam Rosen is a tailgating grill master, Joy Martin is an experimental urban foodie and Sarah Creighton is a healthy homemaker for her husband and three children. But how did they fall into these roles? What do we know about them? Well, since they bring new ideas to our kitchen tables each month, they are like family. So we interviewed each of them to give a little insight into their culinary-inspired lives. You can continue to enjoy her recipes on our website and facebook page, but here you can get to know Joy Martin:

Urban Foodie Winner

How does your passion for cooking relate to being an Urban Foodie?

“My favorite thing about vegan cooking is how it facilitates creative cooking. Choosing to forgo animal products forces you to re-imagine your plate and your palate. As a result, many vegans are adventurous eaters, experimenting with an incredibly broad range of ingredients and flavors. I love taking global influences and “hot” food trends and translating them into exciting and bold vegan dishes. Being an “Urban Foodie” is not about being a food snob – it’s about being a food enthusiast.”

What inspired you to explore vegan cooking and start your own blog?

“When I became a vegetarian 8 years ago, vegetarian and vegan eating was completely foreign to me. I was 21 and only knew how to cook a few things to begin with, so I started teaching myself how to cook by trial and error, learning as much as I could by reading cookbooks and exploring the internet. I soon discovered that I actually enjoyed vegan cooking more than vegetarian cooking, which often seemed to rely on copious amounts of milk and cheese for flavor. As I became a more confident cook, I started making up my own vegan recipes and fell in love with that creative process. A couple of years ago I decided to start sharing my recipes online and started my blog, Braisen Woman.”

What was your biggest challenge with switching to a vegan diet?

“When I first went vegetarian I was a pretty voracious meat-eater, so the cold-turkey (haha) switch was a pretty dramatic change! I definitely missed eating my mom’s meals. Learning how to cook for myself – without meat – was a challenge with the limited culinary skills I had as a 21-year-old college student, but I am so happy I dove in head-first.”

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with right now?

“I am having a love affair with shitake mushrooms – I love their firm, chewy texture and earthy depth of flavor. They add a wonderful “meatiness” to vegan sandwiches, soups, stews, and stir-fries.”

What is your “go-to” dish?

“I love making a big pot of soup on the weekend that I can eat for lunch all week. My favorites include Coconut-Butternut Squash Bisque, Creamy Pistachio Soup, and Broccoli “Cheese” Soup.”

Sweet or savory?

“Oh, that’s tough. My biggest weakness is carbs of either the sweet or savory persuasion… I believe a life without baked goods is no life at all.”

Besides cooking, what do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

“I love thrifting (my mom and grandma taught me well), writing, exploring Seattle’s ever-changing food scene, taking photos, and walking along Lake Washington with Linus, my rescued Chihuahua-terrier mutt.”

A “Cooks In The Field” Exclusive: Adam Rosen

Every month, we share new recipes from the three “Cooks In The Field” that won our recipe contest last Fall. We are all familiar with their cooking styles by now: Adam Rosen is a tailgating grill master, Joy Martin is an experimental urban foodie and Sarah Creighton is a healthy homemaker for her husband and three children. But how did they fall into these roles? What do we know about them? Well, since they bring new ideas to our kitchen tables each month, they are like family. So we interviewed each of them to give a little insight into their culinary-inspired lives. You can continue to enjoy his recipes on our website and facebook page, but here you can get to know Adam Rosen:

 Grill Master winner

How does your passion for cooking relate to being a Grill Master?

“I developed a bit of a reputation for being a grill master back in college. Of course, I was grilling things I no longer eat, but I loved getting creative with sauces and techniques in ways that still shine through in my recipes today. There is something magical about cooking over an open fire. Something primitive and rhythmic about starting the coals, waiting for it to reach perfect temperature and cooking until it’s just right. The flavors are so complex and the possibilities are endless.”

What inspired you to explore vegan cooking and start your own blog?

“My personal trainer back in 2009 got me thinking about what I put into my body. He told me to shop around the edges of the grocery store and eat less processed foods. As I began to see results, I started asking more questions. One thing led to another and my new year resolution for 2010 was to go vegan for a month under the guidance of Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Diet I felt incredible and never looked back. Hold The Pigskin started because I felt plant-based foods were left out at cookouts. I am a big tailgater and I was pretty sure I operated the only vegan tailgate at the muni lot at Cleveland Browns games. Cleveland is a real meat and potatoes town and the vegan tailgate was against the grain. Any time you have a niche like that it’s time to start a blog! My search of the internet came up empty so I figured I was starting the first dedicated vegan tailgate blog in history. 2 years later I feel like the idea still has tons of room to grow.”

What was your biggest challenge with switching to a vegan diet?

“Switching to a vegan diet put me out of my comfort zone. I had to learn how to say no, ask for substitutions and be a pest. If it were just me living in a bubble, the switch wasn’t that bad. I felt great and I will always keep doing something if it makes me feel good. The biggest challenge was social. Having to explain myself to blank faces, turning down food without being disrespectful and trying to fit into a world in the extreme minority. Over time, I have embraced this challenge and love talking about being vegan. My brother calls me a “flaming vegan” and that if I don’t make my lifestyle known within 5 minutes of meeting you something is wrong. I am proud to say I turned my biggest challenge into one of my biggest strengths. People ask me for advice all the time on how to incorporate more plants based foods in their diets. Many people try the foods at tailgates and love them. Now all of my friends can say they know a vegan and it’s not some weird thing to be afraid of.”

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with right now?

“At the moment, I am obsessed with ginger. Its freezing in Ohio and ginger has this amazing warming capability. I put it in my kale protein smoothie for breakfast, in this ginger almond ranch salad dressing for lunch and sauté it in the Moroccan soup for dinner. I seriously can’t get enough ginger right now. Plus it sells for $0.39/pound at the local Asian grocery, so the price is right.”

What is your “go-to” dish?

“I have a go to dish for every meal of the day. I even have go-to snacks! Breakfast: kale protein smoothie with banana, strawberry, almond milk, pea/hemp/rice protein, flax, maca, spirulina, topped with chia, crunchy cereal and cocoa nibs. Lunch: salad with tons of chopped fresh veggies, chickpeas or tofu and homemade dressings. Snack: vegan protein bar and an apple with nut butter. Dinner has the most variation, but my go-to is stir fry.”

Sweet or savory?

“Since becoming vegan I dropped the whole picky eater thing. If its vegan, I’ll eat it. No questions asked. But I’m a savory guy. I think savory sometimes gets left out in the vegan world because people default to meats in their savory flavor profile. That’s why I love Field Roast and other savory vegan foods. It’s a challenge to be aware of that sixth sense, beyond taste, that is so complex.”

Besides cooking, what do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

“I am a plant-powered athlete. This year marks my 4th season doing triathlons. I also picked up CrossFit as a way to get stronger year round. In addition to my athletic endeavors, I love following my Cleveland sports teams and Ohio State. Anytime there is a tailgate, I’m there! I’m also the only 4-time champion of my fantasy football league.

I love getting involved in my community. I’m on the board of several local nonprofits, am a member of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance City Advocates Program and Cleveland+ Social Media Advisory Committee. As a soon to be lawyer, I’m involved with a local Inn of Court and the Bar Association.”

Finally, I have an awesome vegan girlfriend and we love spending time and cooking together. She runs a nonprofit called Drink Local Drink Tap that inspires individuals to recognize and solve our water issues through creative education, events, and providing safe water access to people in need and I support her endeavors in any way I can. I spend a lot of time with my family and friends down in Akron, Ohio, always cooking and spreading vegan cheer! Check out my exploits on Twitter and Instagram @holdthepigskin.”

Breakfast Recipes from the Cooks in the Field!

Our wonderful Cooks in the Field got their hands on our new Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage and turned up the creativity in the kitchen! We have been really excited about the launch of this new product and even more excited to begin seeing the inspired breakfast creations. We want to thank the Cooks in the Field for giving a jump start to the “breakfast” recipes on our website and everyone in the community for sharing their creations with us online. Here’s to starting the morning off right! Don’t forget to share your creations with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. :)

 Joy Bam Recipe

Joy Martin created a British-inspired Bangers and Mash recipe for the Foodies who like to start the morning off with a little comfort.

Breakfast Potatoes & Sausage

Sarah Creighton combined a variety of veggies with the sweet sausage to create this Breakfast Potatoes with Apple Maple Sausage recipe for a quick and delicious morning bite.

sausage pancakes

Adam Rosen conjured up a new kind of flapjack for those who like to add some character to their weekend breakfast or tailgating food in this Grilled Sausage Pancakes with Gravy recipe.

 

Saturday Morning Breakfast

The following post isn’t a recipe, but hopefully it still will be an inspiration.  I am a creature of habit and Saturday afternoons are filled with grocery shopping.   I tend to go to no less than 3 or 4 different grocery stores.  I tend to go to the Vietnamese market for fresh herbs and fun tropical fruits, the farmer’s market for some local seasonal produce, the spice market for mouth wateringly good cumin, and depending upon the planned weekly menu the bakery for bread.  That generally leaves me on Saturday morning penciling out the week’s menu and digging through the fridge to see what I need to use up before putting stuff into the compost.   Saturday morning’s breakfast is my favorite and usually consists of a nice potato hash and a cup of coffee.

The reason I don’t have a recipe is because the possibilities are endless.  This past weekend I made a southwest themed hash with leftover sweet potatoes, corn, Korean sweet peppers, shallots, green onions and cubed Field Roast Smoke Tomato Deli Slices.  After peaking in the fridge this morning and looking at the counter top I have a feeling it’s going to be more of a Northwestern theme using Yukon gold potatoes, oyster mushrooms, Field Roast Wild Mushroom Deli Slices, chives and a dollop of vegan sour cream.

If you’ve never made a fresh morning hash before it’s simple.  Start by cubing your potato of choice; I tend to do a 1/2 inch dice or smaller because I love a crispy potato.  In a large skillet, over medium heat cook the cubed potatoes for 10 minutes, moving them minimally in the pan to get a nice crust on the outside.  After that just add the rest of your chopped ingredients including the Field Roast product of your choice, reserving more delicate items such as fresh green onions and spinach until the last few minutes, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked, stirring often.  Season with salt or fresh herbs and spices like cumin, cilantro, or red pepper flakes, and then sit and savor your Saturday morning.  Breakfast Hash